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TOURISM >Number of Israeli tourists visiting Turkey soars, says sector player

MUĞLA - Anadolu Agency

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Turkey has seen a boost in the number of Israeli tourists following the normalization of ties last summer, according to the owner of a tour company in the Aegean province of Muğla, which is home to popular holiday resorts Bodrum and Marmaris.      

“We were planning to bring 2,500 Israeli tourists in March and April, but the number has already exceeded 4,000,” Kaan Yardacılar told state-run Anadolu Agency on March 15.      

“In 2016, we brought 6,500 tourists to Marmaris. This number will likely double or even triple this year,” he said, noting a change in the profile of Israeli tourists traveling to Turkey.      

“Tourists who came from Israel in the last two years were Muslim Arab citizens. But this year’s first and second groups who came to Marmaris were all Jewish,” he added.      

“It looks like 2017 will be much better than last year,” he said.      

Turkey and Israel renewed ties in June 2016 following a six-year split over the attack on the Gaza-bound Mavi Marmara humanitarian aid ship.

March/16/2017

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